Starting university is a daunting idea for most newbie students. The hopes of fitting into the crowds you’d like to and making lots of good friends you can share amazing experiences with seems vital to your first year. Moving into Halls of Residence can be a good start to making new friendships, as well as the Freshers activities hosted by our very own Student’s Union; however, sometimes these icebreakers may not be enough alone to help you settle in and be yourself. For many people, like myself, expressing yourself via music and the music you like is rather important and can help build amazing connections with like-minded individuals in and outside of uni.
Going to live shows was pivotal for my first semester at university back in 2016. It helped me to relieve a lot of stress I had encountered whilst going through lots of changes around me and it acted almost as a form of therapy – an escape. Gigs give you the ability to forget any problems in your life for several hours, taking you away into a place where the only thing that matters is the music and having fun and being surrounded by good, like-minded company.
Finding people with the same music taste as mine was never going to be easy, but I soon found friends who shared a liking for similar bands. Before I knew it, I had friends to go to gigs with in my first semester (including Nothing But Thieves, Jaws, Wolf Alice etc.), really helping me to not only settle in but also solidify these friendships I had recently made. There are a good number of venues in and around Southampton such as The Joiners, Engine Rooms and The 1865, as well as the O2 Guildhall and the further afield Bournemouth International Centre. Travelling to and from long distance gigs i.e. London based, can also help to alleviate stress levels and help clear your mind by dedicating a day or two to travelling to see your favourite band play your favourite songs live.
If music and it’s scene is your cup of tea, then I would strongly suggest checking out some great shows on offer during your first semester this year such as Muncie Girls at The Joiners, Knuckle Puck at The 1865, The Story So Far and Citizen at Engine Rooms or Tom Grennan at the Guildhall. Go ahead and give a live show a try; there are amazing bands to see, you’ll have a great time and it may help ease any stress and take your mind off any issues you’re going through. You never know, you might just find yourself a group of friends to see some new favourite bands with too.